Man confirms that he is the owner of the electric motor bike that ended up being used by Femke Van den Driessche, and found by the UCI


A Belgian man has claimed to be the owner of the cyclocross bike equipped with a hidden motor that was discovered at the UCI Cyclocross World Championships in Belgium on Saturday.

The bike was in the pits for 19-year-old Belgian rider Femke Van den Driessche during the under-23 women’s race. An inspection by UCI officials found that it contained a hidden electric motor – the first time that such a find has been made by the UCI.

Belgian paper Het Nieuwsblad reported on Monday evening that former professional Nico Van Muylder, 39, has claimed that he is as the owner of the bike, supporting the explanation given by Van den Driessche that it was not her machine and that she knew nothing about the hidden motor.

Van Muylder is a friend of the Van den Driessche family. According to Van den Driessche’s explanation, Van Muylder’s bike was mistakenly picked up by her mechanics and given to the rider for use during the race.

>>> Everything you need to know about the motorised doping scandal

According to the UCI’s strict rules on ‘technical fraud’ it does not matter who the owner of the bike is. It is the responsibility of the rider and their team to ensure that any bike used adheres to regulations.

The UCI’s investigation into the incident is on-going, but Van den Driessche could face a fine of 20,000 to 200,000 Swiss francs (£13,700 to £137,000) and a minimum six-month suspension.

  • TurWAATchers Legacy

    I hate how it’s called mechanical doping. Let’s just stick with calling it cheating. FACT!

  • rominger

    I’m Spartacus!

  • WIkisses

    Time for that family to get into a new “line” that is more suiting to them.. Perhaps a bread line.

  • Paul Smith

    surely the “im spartacus” logic falls apart when the team tech’s set the bike up.

  • Hmmm, sounds like it could be sabotage then? It’s all very suspicious in any case.

  • Reece

    Except that the Vivax system weighs an extra 1.8kg! Difficult not to notice that let alone the additional wiring and saddle bag or bottle battery

  • duke_of_omnium

    Oh, sure. And I’ll bet she didn’t know about the rocket engines hidden in the handlebars, either

  • ummm…

    …….wow…….this is the voice of clarity?

  • ummm…

    eddy merckx………..cmon

  • ummm…

    no, its my bike.

  • ummm…

    NO, the sport has disgraced itself, or we have disgraced ourself by our expectation of pro sport.

  • ummm…

    lifetime ban for any cheat, if you are serious about eradicating cheating. you dont get a pass because it is your first time. or it was only a little cheating. these people can go get an education and a job like the rest.

  • TrevorHoldsworth

    A family with dubious ethics.
    Brother currently suspended for doping, brother and father investigated for theft (- not cycling related). With baggage like that hanging around her ears, she should be ultra cautious. Maybe she has two weeks to ask for ‘Bicycle B’ to be analysed.

  • Ourmedia Guy

    So he left the bike unattended in plain view
    The UCI chose this bike to Test…………….why just this one ???
    Faux friend may have set it up to get her rubbed out………………
    perhaps he supports one of her competitors
    Potential for a great sting !!!!
    We need an “independent” shot of him on the bike, on another day
    to confirm his/her story- without that its just too far fetched.

  • Stevo

    According to Het Laatste Nieuws, he had been “celebrating” for some time before going “training” on the race circuit, after which he left the bike by the camper and wandered off to carry on “celebrating”. Witnesses said it was a miracle he could ride at all. The wereabouts of his bike probably weren’t something he was unduly worried about.

  • Roger

    I am 83 years old. In the winter, I train with a group of cyclists, many of whom are 60 or 70 years my junior. Several are professionals – I raced with the grandfather of one when I was younger! We average around 28 km/h, which is not fast, but I am not as strong as I was in my youth. I have had a motor in my bike since last year. I switch it on when I get weak at the end of a long ride. It enables me to keep up.

  • RobTM

    And her friend, who bought her old bike last year.. fits a motor, then leaves it unattended to be loaded into a van by mechanic, who doesn’t notice it’s an old one.. all for the big champs?

  • lee

    Like you say, @ 3″ the attack is impressive and after the slight snarl’up in the system @11.00 the resultant riding is great too… just soo obvious…

  • lee

    This reminds me of the debacle of Cancellara a few yrs back…

  • Still Pop

    That is reasonable. Mechanized cheating is inexcusable and shows the lady is not of fit character for competition. She has disgraced the sport and as the first rider caught needs to be made an example of.

  • Stevo

    No. It sounds like a poor translation. She actually said it was her old bike, which she sold to a friend of her brothers at the end of last season. Also, the bike was in the pits. She didn’t ride it.

  • MrHaematocrit

    Didn’t it also have her name on it, she said it was an old bike she sold on

  • Michael

    My dog ate my bike

  • MrHaematocrit

    Bang on the money there, well spotted Grigor

  • joe

    Yeah but the dog ate my homework sir! Come on pull the other one. A. What was that bike doing absolutely anywhere near her mechanics??? Come on…. And 2nd.. the Dutch / Belgians sometimes have an odd tendency to come out with laughable excuses when they get caught up to no good.

  • Johnny Burrell

    A lifetime ban for a 19 year old? Let’s be reasonable…

  • two20

    Just happened to have it on him, with a race number.

  • TrevorHoldsworth

    Iif his bike was placed in the wagon, why didn’t he go to the police or place it on facebook – “somebody stole my Wilier – it’s unique and easy to recognise – it has an electric motor”
    When you’re riding the worlds, details such as ‘that’s not my bike’ are NOT overlooked. Did it NOT have different pedals/bartape/saddle/saddle height?
    This was the alibi planned in advance.

  • TrevorHoldsworth

    Tech tips: Can somebody tell me how to fit drop handlebars on a motorbike?

  • Really? What am I missing? She said:

    “It wasn’t my bike, it was that of a friend and was identical to mine,” a tearful Van den Driessche told Belgian TV channel Sporza. “This friend went around the course Saturday before dropping off the bike in the truck. A mechanic, thinking it was my bike, cleaned it and prepared it for my race,” she added, insisting that she was “totally unaware” it was fitted with a hidden motor.

    Does that not still sound like BS to you? Why did a ‘friend’ take her bike, put a motor in it, bring it to the Worlds and leave it with the rest of the team bikes? And all the time without ever having adjusted any part of it – saddle, pedals, handlebar height and angle, etc. – unless he was physiologically identical to her? It’s all just too suspicious.

  • DS

    She said she sold her bike, to buy an *exact* same one. I sold my 2011 ipad 2 8GB to buy another 2011 ipad 2 8GB, because I love losing money.

    We aren’t talking about a $100 Walmart bike here. That bike probably costs more than the monthly salary of most people. If you lost such a bike would it make sense for you to not report it and just go home as if nothing has happened?

  • Josh Tambini

    Ha ha, yes!

  • dourscot

    Isn’t she just changing gears? Can’t see anything conclusive there at all.

    Thee ‘stutter’ looks more like a missed gear. We’ve all had that.

  • dourscot

    That was bullshit put out by one person and a YouTube account.

    Have you seen the size of his thighs? Better explanation I think.

  • dourscot

    Regardless, the damage has been done.

  • Chris Williams

    Its amazing – can go onto Vivax site and configure how you want to cheat etc – one option is Invisible system so its all hidden – even if its just riding with your mates – its still cheating

  • Stevo

    Perhaps you should read what she said. You clearly don’t know what your on about.

  • Jay

    Absolutely, and using the mechanic as a scapegoat is pretty pathetic. I’ll support the UCI to use a harsh punishment as a deterrent.

  • hailpantani

    Exactly. And he uses the same pedals etc.

  • Gazzaputt

    So my mate decides he’ll bring his bike to the race. Said bike he leaves with my spare bikes. His bike is the exact same as my bike who’d of thought it! My mechanic picks up said bike and gives it to me use. Damn what a silly mistake to make.

  • Really? Oh come on. A 39-year-old man has EXACTLY the same bike as a 19-year-old woman?? And he happens to have it lying around the pits where experienced professional mechanics mistake it for Femke’s? This whole thing is BS – the family friend is just trying to act as the fall guy

  • Gareth Hillary

    I think (to give them the benefit of the doubt) if it was given to you by a mechanic in the middle of a race then you woudln’t have time to say No. However its a dubious excuse at best.

  • Gareth Hillary

    You are ABSOLUTELY spot on there mate. I watched that footage yesterday.

    As Eddy Merckx said “You may as well ride a motorbike”

  • Tony

    By coincidence Cancellara’s nickname, wasn’t he suspected of riding a dodgy bike once?

  • Josh Tambini

    I’m Sparticus!

  • Odd Bloke

    It’s my bike!

  • Jay

    Total BS. Every experience cyclist would know the difference and feel of their bikes and setup.

  • Ninermark

    If this is his bike as he claims, why would it be set up exactly like hers? Weak excuse.

  • Obskure_view
  • Tony

    No, it’s my bike!

  • Grigor

    That excuse falls apart when you watch the footage of her riding at the Koppenburgcross race in November. She climbs the Koppenburg easily, seated and pulls away from the others. Later, the system stutters as it engages, she misses a couple of pedal strokes but holds pace.

    If you’re pressing a button to engage it then you know it’s there. Or did the cyclocross fairies switch it on without you knowing…?

    I tried to link the video but CW blocked the post it seems. Search YouTube for “Cyclocross Koppenburg 2015/16 Round 2” and go to 03:00 and then 11:45.

  • Check the two videos at the bottom of – it looks like she’s turning something off as she crosses the line with her right hand. A switch under the brake hood rubber perhaps? Unfortunately if it’s true it blows a hole in her accidental loan defence.

  • Steve D’Amico

    Why in the world even have a motor in your bike in the first place?? Oh wait, I know, to CHEAT!!

  • barraob1

    He’s telling fibs, it’s my bike.

  • Kevino Daviessss

    Likely story!!! Does she believe she will get away with this? Lifetime ban as warning to others.

  • Any idea how tall this Nico Van Muylder is? I’d be surprised if he’s the exact same dimensions as Femke, to the point where no one in her team wondered why her bike was suddenly that different (or heavier).

    You know what? Cyclists are the best at coming up with excuses when the spotlight falls on their shenanigans. So much so that I’m always reminded of the great Austin Powers…